How we live by instruction manuals!

Acharya Prashant
4 min readOct 30, 2020

The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Question: Sir, why do people always classify anything on the basis of good or bad, right or wrong?

Acharya Prashant (AP): Because we need some kind of a guideline to live by. You see, we are always faced with choices all the time. All the time we face choices. Now there are two ways in which you can make a choice.

One — “I understand. So, I know what I have to do.”

Second — “I do not understand anything. But, I have a manual with me. An instruction manual which says, ‘When this kind of a choice comes, choose A. A is good. B is bad’.”

The second man is a blind man. The man who can see and understand does not need any manual. He does not need any instruction based on good or bad, right or wrong, correct or incorrect. His own awareness is sufficient.

The one who lives by his awareness has an answer to every situation.

The one who lives by commandments and instruction manuals will find that most of the time he does not have answers.


Because life gives you a fresh situation every moment, and your ‘good and bad’, ‘right and wrong’ are not applicable to every moment.

Morality, code of conduct: these things are only for those who do not have the eyes to realize things on their own.

Otherwise, you need not be told what is good and what is bad.

What is really good in one situation, can be very bad in another situation. Will you carry an algorithm for every situation? Speaking loudly might be good right now. Two minutes later, I might have to speak very softly. Bolting up the door might be very right at this very moment, opening the door will be right the other moment.

(Nodding his head down) Nodding your head like this might be right one moment. (Moving his head sideways) Nodding your head like this might be right the other moment. How often will you consult your books on morality? “What to do when somebody nods like this?” Helping somebody might be good one moment, and the nature of help might be totally different the other moment.

When you live through